Tony winner Mark Rylance will star as Thomas Cromwell in the BBC’s TV adaptation of the bestselling novel Wolf Hall and its sequel Bring Up The Bodies. The project is just one of many in development for Rylance, who is also planning to return to Broadway in Richard III and Twelfth Night, according to The Daily Mail. Rylance recently finished performing the Shakespeare plays at London's Apollo Theatre.
Rylance will play the 16th-century statesman in screenwriter Peter Straughan’s six-hour adaptation of Hilary Mantel’s fictional historical novels. The producers of the miniseries reportedly waited over a year for Rylance to become available. The stories (which both won the Man Booker Prize) take readers into the world of Henry VIII, one of England’s most charismatic rulers and the monarch known for separating the English Church from the Roman Catholic Church, as well as his whopping six marriages. Rylance’s character Cromwell was the chief minister and right-hand man of the king.
Also on Rylance’s slate is the new play Nice Fish at Minneapolis’s Guthrie Theatre, followed by the Old Vic production of Much Ado About Nothing, in which Rylance will direct Vanessa Redgrave and James Earl Jones.